LOS FELIZ

This hillside ‘hood, bordering on Atwater Village, Hollywood and Silverlake, is surprisingly walkable and one of the trendiest areas in town. It’s named after colonial Jose Vicente Feliz (“Feliz” means happy in English, and you can often tell how long someone has been in LA by their pronunciation – Angelenos have anglicized the word and actually say the second part of the neighborhood name incorrectly) and well-known for its historic homes, the country’s largest urban park (Griffith! It’s even bigger than Central Park), and its proximity to the Church of Scientology.

Not only will you spot restaurants and cafes from all your favorite movies (such as the Dresden), but from a heck of a lot of commercials too. Los Feliz is also the home of Disney’s first studio, several Frank Lloyd Wright homes, and the beautiful Shakespeare Bridge. If you’re looking for some Angeleno history, good coffee, a slice of nature, and some vintage finds – Los Feliz is the neighborhood for you.

Stop 1: Little Dom's

Two words: Breakfast pizza. That’s all we’d have to tell you (and that’s really all you’d have to order!) to make a trip to Little Dom’s well worth while. It’s one of our favorite brunch spots in the city, mostly because putting an egg on a pizza and eating it before noon is pure genius in our eyes. The pizza – sunny side up egg, speck, mozzarella, tomato sauce – pairs perfectly with the sweet ricotta cheese and blueberry pancakes. We also ordered fried potatoes (the fried garlic on top makes it EXTRA delicious), and grilled bacon.

This is an old school Italian joint with a hip Los Feliz twist – mustard vinyl diner tables, black and white photos of 30s starlets. There’s also an attached deli, and they serve a Monday supper (3 courses for $15!) Mimosas are a must with brunch.

(2128 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles)

Stop 2: Skylight Books

This bookstore has been in the neighborhood for almost 20 years, and it’s what we all dream a neighborhood bookshop should be – weekly events and readings, friendly and knowledgeable staff, cozy corners. As the name suggests, the space is bright and light-filled (thanks, sky lights!) and there’s a gorgeous tree with reading bench smack-dab in the middle of the store. There’s also an annex a few doors down with comic books and graphic novels.

(1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles)

Stop 3: The Punchbowl

Sure, we realize that drinking cold-pressed juice in the most hipster of places makes us VERY LA…but it was about 95 degrees out, and the refreshing selection of juices here are always hard to pass up. The space is small, but beautifully decorated with colorful bursts of fresh flowers and coral wallpaper. All of the juices and fortified milks are made in-house, and they have a selection of raw chocolates too. We ordered the Jaipur Juice ($8) with watermelon, thai chili, pink sea salt and lime. It tasted like a roadside juice stand, and we couldn’t have been happier.

(4645 Melbourne Ave, Los Angeles)

Stop 4: High-Fidelity

Some people may bemoan the number of vinyl record stores popping up around Los Angeles, but we celebrate any space that encourages people to come together around food, books, or music. This place will not make you feel like you’re digging through records in your high school friend’s basement – it’s open and modern, and also sells hi-fi audio equipment and music memorabilia.

(1956 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles)

Stop 5: Griffith Park Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is one of those rare gems that both tourists and locals alike love. The observatory sits atop Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the largest urban park in the country. It opened in 1935 and is one of LA’s most iconic locations – and best of all, as part of Griffith’s will, has been and will always be free. The star-gazing parties and science exhibits are awesome, the views of Los Angeles are spectacular, and the hiking trails from the observatory are some of our favorite in Southern California. Nothing about this place ever gets old.

Insider’s tip: If you’re planning to come on a weekend in the summer, arrive early in the morning. The crowds (and parking!) can be a nightmare.

(2800 E Observatory Road, Los Angeles)

Stop 6: The Trails Cafe

Looking for a yummy snack post-hike or want to feel like you’re camping without ever leaving the city? This rustic cafe in Griffith Park offers outdoor seating that resembles our dining area at Girl Scout summer camp, but with food that is so much better. We ordered several iced coffee drinks (the chai was on the sweeter-side), and ogled the pastry cases full of vegan peach pie and vanilla lavender shortbread. The avocado sandwich (with soy bacon bits and alfalfa sprouts) is also a favorite.

(2333 Fern Dell Drive, Los Angeles)

Stop 7: Barnsdall Park

Friday evening wine tastings at Barnsdall Art Park may be one of the BEST summer activities across Los Angeles – the sunset! the food trucks! the people! But this large complex, which is part cultural center and part city park, offers so much more – art classes, historic tours of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, and plenty of green grass and gorgeous views for your perfect LA picnic. Parking is free, it’s close to a subway stop, and the art classes are reasonably priced – it’s a wonder more people aren’t flocking to this place.

(4800 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles)

Stop 8: Churro Borough

If you can’t tell by the pictures, the line at this place is LONG. Like, 40 minutes long. 40 minutes on a Sunday afternoon when it’s not even close to dessert-time. When it’s over 90 degrees out and the air-conditioning is barely operating inside this churro ice cream sandwich shop. But would we recommend this place? ABSOLUTELY. The warmth and sugar from the freshly-baked churro was seriously delicious with the cold scoop of handmade ice-cream. We ordered the horchata ice cream sandwich, the chocolate almond coconut sorbet sandwich, and the chocolate cookie malt sandwich. All three flavors were divine, and we only wished the line wasn’t so long so we could rush back and order another.

(1726 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles)

The Details:

There’s several subway stop in Los Feliz, making it easy to reach the neighborhood. Once you’re there (with the exception of Griffith Park), getting around on foot is a no-brainer. We walked most of the day, but you can also rent bikes nearby here.

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